Why Companies ‘Click’ on Twitter

When people follow a brand on Twitter — a behavior mystifying to many non-Twitterites — what motivates them to do so? A report released this month by ExactTarget takes a look.

In online polling fielded in April among respondents 15 and older, such followers were asked to identify the various factors that have moved them “to follow a company, brand or association on Twitter.”

The foremost reason, cited by 38 percent, was “to get updates on future products.” Thirty-two percent said they wanted “to stay informed about the activities of a company.”

The opportunity to save some money was also prominent among followers’ motives for keeping up with a company via Twitter: 31 percent said they follow a company “to receive discounts and promotions,” 30 percent “to get updates on upcoming sales” and 28 percent “to get a ‘freebie’ (e.g., free samples, coupon).”

But others simply find the activity enjoyable. Twenty-six percent become followers “for fun or entertainment.” And others like the sense of involvement with the company: 20 percent become followers “to interact (e.g., share ideas, provide feedback).”

And then there are the loyalists, the 23 percent who wish “to show my support for the company to others.”